Church Name: St Joseph or Sacred Heart

Most references and all parish returns refer to this church as St Joseph’s, but the Marist Yearbook 1927 refers to Sacred Heart church, Hakataramea

It was b uilt by Fr John Goutenoire in 1885, at a cost of £120,  and was initially not lined or furnished. The church was shifted to the Hakataramea township about 1900 by Dean Regnault. Parish Returns: 1892: “I have included Hakataramea, small church worth £120, not lined nor furnished.”

Parish returns mention it as follows: 1895: Hakataramea Church, cost £120, wood, condition poor; 1902: Hakataramea, St Joseph’s, wood, 40’ x 20’, built 1888, cost about £200. 1905. St Joseph’s Hakataramea, wood, good state of repair.

The local school history refers to the land the church initially stood on. “Across the creek [O’Briens Creek, between Farm Rd & Milne Rd] was the Chapel. No-one can remember it being there, although the adjoining land became known as the Chapel Paddock … it was built to serve the religious needs of many of the Haka Station workers employed by the Australian & NZ Land Company who were Catholic. A Mr John Godsell gifted the land on which the first church was built by Father Goutenoire. At about the turn of the century (1900) Father Regnault decided to shift it to the Haka township (or Sandhurst as it was then known). It was shifted by bullock teams onto a site donated by Mr and Mrs John Molloy, who owned the Haka Hotel and 300 acres around it. The Chapel was demolished in 1976. The Rabbit Board purchased the land where it had once stood and built the present [1984] house.”

In 1906 the Cyclopaedia of New Zealand described it. “St Joseph’s Roman Catholic church at Hakataramea is a small building of wood and iron and stands on part of a section of one acre of land. The building, which cost £200, has accommodation for 60 worshippers. The Roman Catholic church also owns a section of three acres in another part of the district. Monthly services are held by the clergy resident at Waimate.”


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